On a trip to Chicago from his native Italy, young Mario Tricoci changed his life forever. The fledgling hairdresser stopped in at a prestigious salon, where he impressed the owner with his impeccable display of skill and landed himself a job. The next six decades brought strings of industry awards and the opening of his very own salon, which soon exploded into 26 locations in four states. With his styling prowess proven both to the industry and to the clients he encountered each day, the coiffeur decided to share his gift with others. In 2004, he established Tricoci University to foster a new generation of cosmetologists and spa technicians trained to thrive in the luxury-spa industry.
Throughout the Midwest, Tricoci protégés study a rigorous curriculum in high-end salon and spa surroundings to learn how to create beautiful hairdos, choose skin-flattering cosmetics, and beautify nails and skin. A team of experienced industry professionals readies pupils for the beauty world with in-depth classes, and outside education arrives via video demonstrations and guest-artist lectures on Vidal Sassoon's Wedge-Bob Postulate. More advanced students get a preview of their career to come by beautifying real people during instructor-supervised treatments, which lend the stylist essential experience as the client enjoys a pampering session at a discounted rate.
Richard Stromberg is so dedicated to teaching the art of photography that he's held class during a freezing blizzard, a blistering heat wave, and while he was confined to a wheelchair after surgery. Richard brings his fierce dedication and 45 years of photography and teaching experience to his school, where he leads a variety of photography classes alongside a dedicated staff of volunteers. Within spacious classrooms, the seasoned instructors guide students through the techniques of DSLR photography, from basic camera operation to tips on starting up a studio. In addition to mechanics and fundamentals, they also encourage their students to see the world in new aesthetic ways, helping them recognize the beauty of a sunset or the fogged-up monocle of a sensitive millionaire. The dedicated staff can often be spotted at the school before and after class hours helping students work on assignments in the lighting studio, the darkroom, and the expansive computer lab. Twice a year, they showcase pupils’ work in their onsite WithInSight Gallery.
Trilled consonants and accented vowels glide off the tongues of native instructors as they teach the conversational arts in beginner and ongoing Spanish-language classes. Students can complete half of a language level in six two-hour classes held once a week, or double their course load to conquer a full level in the same amount of time. While ongoing classes are available for those with prior knowledge of the language, new students can learn basic conversational skills and the difference between a piñata and the neighbor's mailbox during beginner classes. Small class sizes of three–six allow for ample personal instruction and foster an informal atmosphere. A love of language cannot sustain itself without the occasional kiss of cultural appreciation, so teachers strive to promote a deeper understanding of the traditions, history, and public-indecency laws of their native countries in a range of class activities.
Creator of the conversational Cortez Method of Spanish lessons, Juan Guillermo Cortez started the Spanish Language Center in 2001 to expand the lessons he learned as a private Spanish teacher. With a stable of trained instructors, the school guides students of all skill levels through the intricacies of Spanish speaking during conversational group classes. Conversation-focused classes range from introductory courses that lay out Spanish-language basics, such as grammar and how to roll an r with the confidence of an archaeologist playing Operation, to advanced-level lessons on commands and the subjunctive tense. Each class hosts an average of 6–12 students and, like a sturdy soapbox, includes ample opportunity to practice speaking skills. In addition to providing all necessary materials, teachers also unlock access to an online class system full of updates and information.
Led by linguistic anthropologist Dr. Jill Bishop, Multilingual Connections’ international staff of instructors immerses students in one of more than a dozen foreign languages, including French, Arabic, Spanish, and Mandarin. The immersive classes are intended to incorporate fun as well as language, with activities ranging from role-playing exercises to music. Before class, students can sip on coffee, tea, or wine while browsing WiFi in the center's cafe.
The instructors at Multilingual Connections delve even further into each language’s respective culture by always making time to converse about specific foods, holidays, and folk traditions. The woman-owned business works to connect pupils—which have included children, athletes, and politicians—to the rest of the world with classes as well as translation and interpretation services in 75 languages.
Understanding that each child learns differently, the staff members of Sylvan Learning’s numerous study centers design custom lesson programs. Based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews, the staff works with students to help them firmly grasp basic skills such as reading, writing, math, and how to remember facts without tattooing them to their chests. Programs target students in kindergarten through grade 12 and mold to various learning styles, helping kids feel more comfortable in the classroom. Afterschool or summer classes can ready high-school students for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students wow college-admissions officers with their superior writing skills, exemplary test scores, and willingness to arm-wrestle the school mascot.